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A spoonful of Family Day

Families will have their day. But not right away.

Families will have their day. But not right away.

In Monday's Throne Speech at the opening of the fourth session of British Columbia's 39th Parliament, Premier Christy Clark announced that, at long last, British Columbians will have a holiday to help them through the dreary days of February.

A new statutory "Family Day" holiday will be celebrated on the third Monday of every February, starting in 2013.

Clark noted that the time lag will allow employers to adjust work schedules to the new holiday.

We suspect that, somewhere in the back of her mind, she's also figuring that it might just warm up a few cold electoral shoulders just in time for the election that she has already decreed will take place later that spring.

All in all, there's not much unexpected to be found in the Throne Speech.

Teachers across the province, who are currently embroiled in unpromising contract negotiations, will surely be eager to see the government's plans for legislation to "modernize" both the education system (to ensure that teachers have the "skills and support" they need to provide school children with what they need for a prosperous future) and the BC College of Teachers.

Promises of improvements to the Family Law Act are welcome, as are proposals to free up court time by streamlining traffic-fine dispute mechanisms and to work on anti-bullying polices in schools.

Also welcome is a commitment to find ways to help the most vulnerable members of our society. And the promise to host a summit on social innovation is at least intriguing.

But like all Throne Speeches, it's not what's said on opening day that counts - it's really all about what is accomplished during all the ordinary days of legislative haggling that follow.